Apache Incubator

Definition of Apache Incubator

The Apache Incubator is a gateway for open-source projects seeking to become part of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). It serves as an entry path for these projects, providing resources, community guidance, and a structured process for their development. The Incubator’s primary goal is to ensure that projects align with ASF’s philosophy and guidelines while nurturing their growth and achieving sustainability.


The phonetics of the keyword “Apache Incubator” are:əˈpætʃi ˈɪŋkjəbeɪtər

Key Takeaways

  1. Apache Incubator is the entry path for projects and codebases wishing to become part of the Apache Software Foundation, providing guidance, resources, and support to help them conform to ASF standards.
  2. The incubation process helps new projects adopt the Apache Way and ensures that they adhere to the organization’s legal, organizational, and procedural requirements.
  3. While in the Incubator, projects are in a provisional state and do not yet have the full backing of the Apache Software Foundation. They are continuously evaluated for quality, viability, and community engagement until they graduate to Apache Top-Level Projects.

Importance of Apache Incubator

The Apache Incubator plays a crucial role in the technology world as the primary entry path for projects and codebases seeking to become a part of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). As a supportive environment, it nurtures open-source initiatives by providing essential resources, guidance, and assistance, helping projects and their contributors align with strict ASF standards and best practices.

The incubator’s robust framework fosters collaboration and innovation, allowing for the development and growth of top-notch, widely accepted open-source software, which ultimately benefits the entire technology landscape.


The Apache Incubator serves as a vital entry path for projects and codebases aspiring to become a part of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) – a non-profit organization responsible for various well-known open-source projects such as Apache HTTP Server and Apache Hadoop. The primary purpose of the Apache Incubator is to ensure that incoming projects align with the ASF’s guiding principles, methodologies, and legal frameworks.

In doing so, the incubator acts as a nurturing ground to develop these projects and facilitates their integration into the Apache ecosystem, adhering to the highest standards of open-source collaboration. Projects accepted into the Apache Incubator are guided by experienced ASF members, also known as mentors, who oversee them and provide necessary guidance to ensure that communities working on these projects work harmoniously and maintain the ASF’s reputation for high-quality open-source software.

During the incubation process, projects need to demonstrate their ability to release under Apache licensing and establish strong governance and collaborative development practices. Once they achieve these milestones and prove that they can maintain the strict standards expected by the ASF, they graduate from the incubator and become top-level Apache projects, fully-fledged and enjoying long-term support and widespread recognition within the ever-growing open-source community.

Examples of Apache Incubator

The Apache Incubator is a project that serves as an entry point for new projects aspiring to the Apache Software Foundation’s open-source software projects. It provides necessary resources and guidance for fledgling projects to thrive and potentially become top-level projects within the Apache ecosystem. Here are three real-world examples of technologies that started in the Apache Incubator:Apache Cassandra: Cassandra is a highly scalable, distributed, NoSQL database that provides high availability and fault-tolerance. It began in the Apache Incubator in 2009 and later on became a top-level project. Notable companies like Apple, Netflix, and Spotify use Apache Cassandra for its ability to handle large amounts of data across multiple servers.

Apache Flink: Flink is a powerful, distributed, open-source data processing engine that can process both streaming and batch data. It entered the Apache Incubator in 2014 and became a top-level project inMany organizations and companies, such as Alibaba and Lyft, utilize Flink for real-time data processing and analysis.

Apache Kafka: Kafka is a distributed, fault-tolerant messaging system designed for high-throughput, real-time data streaming. It was created by LinkedIn and entered the Apache Incubator in 2011 before becoming a top-level project inToday, Apache Kafka is used by numerous organizations, including LinkedIn, Airbnb, and Twitter, for stream processing, message queuing, and logs aggregation.

Apache Incubator FAQ

1. What is the Apache Incubator?

The Apache Incubator is the primary entry path for new projects and codebases to join the Apache Software Foundation. It provides support and guidance to projects during their initial development stages to help them meet the high standards of the Apache community.

2. What is the purpose of the Apache Incubator?

The purpose of the Apache Incubator is to ensure that new projects adhere to the Apache Software Foundation’s principles and guidelines, such as open development, community collaboration, and software licensing. It helps new projects to become top-level Apache projects by mentoring and guiding them through the incubation process.

3. How can I submit a project to the Apache Incubator?

To submit a project to the Apache Incubator, you must create a project proposal that includes the project’s name, description, goals, and a list of initial committers. After creating the proposal, you can submit it to the Apache Incubator mailing list for review and discussion. If the project is accepted, a mentor from the Apache community will be assigned to guide the project through the incubation process.

4. What are the requirements for a project to be accepted into the Apache Incubator?

For a project to be accepted into the Apache Incubator, it must have a well-defined purpose, a clear alignment with the goals of the Apache Software Foundation, and a diverse and active community. The project must also agree to follow the Apache guidelines, which include releasing code under the Apache License, using the Apache infrastructure, and adhering to the Apache decision-making process.

5. How long does the incubation process typically take?

The incubation process varies in duration, depending on the project’s maturity and size. It can take anywhere from a few months to several years for a project to complete incubation and graduate as a top-level Apache project. Throughout the incubation phase, the project’s mentors work closely with the community to ensure that the project meets all the requirements to become a successful Apache project.

6. What happens after a project graduates from the Apache Incubator?

Upon graduation from the Apache Incubator, the project becomes a top-level Apache project, and it gains full access to the resources and support of the Apache Software Foundation. The project is expected to continue adhering to the principles and guidelines of the Apache community and maintain an active developer and user community for ongoing development and collaboration.

Related Technology Terms

  • Open Source Community
  • Apache Software Foundation
  • Project Mentorship
  • Project Graduation
  • Incubation Process

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